Ships instead of trains. Canals or some shit.
680 - Romans figure out crude steam engines.
You can build train lines with Roman slaves, soldiers, or paid labor. Gotta have a private security force if you don’t have a Legion’s backing. Capitalization can come from the Roman treasury, investors, or PLUNDER.
How about “Tales of 18XX” still Trains but set in Alternate history steampunk JRPG-land?
Just do straight up Leiji Matsumoto Galaxy Railways. There are plenty of canon trains besides the 999.
Your train tiles can just have normal routes, just put a picture of space in the background behind the tracks.
The cities can be various planets and stars that are visited during the series. Earth, Heavy Metal, La Metal, Great Andromeda, etc. Instead of mountains on the map, there is the big gap between the Milky way and Andromeda galaxies that is very expensive and far to cross. Private companies can be smaller operations that work within a particular solar system.
The story can be that this is about the beginnings of the Galaxy Railways. Before all the rail companies merged together, there were many competing ones. That’s not canon that I’ve heard, but AFAIK there is no canon about the beginnings of the railways.
FWIW I would totally play this. 2038 does asteroid mining within the solar system, which is obviously pretty different and more focused on staking claims etc. than laying track.
I remembered reading about some crazy Japanese train game and finally found it, but it’s crayon rails not 18xx.
"you can gain honor points in three different ways:
- Building your network to connect to more towns, cities, and big cities
- Destroying other people’s trains during missions
- Successfully completing missions"
Anyway, the thing I’ve internalized is that the really interesting part of 18xx games is the system of shared incentives that fits so naturally into the framework of laying track and starting companies. Everything you do has significant implications for everyone else. The history is incidental (and games are often only historic in a very broad sense). This whole shared incentive thing applies to many train-themed games from Paris Connection on up.
Um, obviously you build Roman roads and conquer the provincial territories with Legions. A Legion is just a pointier train made of humans anyway. Roads are tracks. The Empire awaits.
Of course you should probably go with 180, since by 680 it was all Merovingia this and Merovingia that.
2019: The North River Rail Tunnels. A dystopian war game set in a near future where the rail link between NY and NJ is severed.
Or the good Romans out East continuing to have their golden age.
1480: Constantinople has fallen, now you have to rename it.
1982 - It’s not actually trains, it’s Dig-Dug, but digging through the dirt looks like a series of connected tracks. Upgrade from Pooka to Fygar.
You guys are getting close to Cleopatra’s Caboose an 18 on onk game.
18099 - Taurus style map within a black hole.
I don’t know why, but I jumped from “triangle grid” to “Triangle Shirtwaist Fire” and now I have an idea for the most macabre board game in history.
Do you play as the factory owners or the girls?
Expanded mind: you play as the shirtwaists.
Obviously it’s like those board-based RPG’s where there’s a GM trying to kill the players.
I dunno, there was that train one.
Sometimes you try things and they work out. Other days you dump a company and try to start two new ones, only to have the good one stolen from you, sending you down a spiral of increasingly desperate decisions until…
This is probably interesting to a lot of people: